The ESADE (pronounced eh-SAH-day) MBA program in Barcelona, Spain, is a great option for applicants looking for a program that requires fewer than 2 years out of the job market but also provides an internship and even an international exchange option. ESADE offers a 12-month MBA, a 15-month option that includes an internship or exchange program, and an 18-month option that includes both an internship and an international exchange opportunity. Graduates do well: 91% secure a position within 3 months of graduating, increasing their salaries by an average of 67% over their pre-MBA earnings. This really is an international student body: the 170 students in the class of 2013 hailed from 43 countries, and 60% of them choose to work outside of Spain upon graduation.
Attach your CV or Resume: The ESADE application form does not prompt the applicant to describe his/her accomplishments in each position, but allows space for a job description for each role. Savvy applicants will make sure that their resume/CV highlights the initiatives they led and the impact they made in each role.
Personal essays (Each question is limited to 2000 characters including spaces, 30 lines approximately.) Frankly, in my experience, 2000 characters is only approximately 20 lines, around 300 words for each essay. My tips are below in blue.
1. Which aspects have you improved on during your academic and professional career so far? Which tools or values have helped you achieve this?
ESADE provides a “transformative” experience, but to benefit from it fully, students must be open to transforming. This essay provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you recognize areas in which you can improve, and then take action to do so. Among the most important aspects to ESADE are leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills. The second part of the question is asking for applicants to analyze what enabled them to make these improvements: personality traits, introspection, trusted mentors, and even a comprehensive professional evaluation system may be among the tools that applicants have found most useful. Sharing a story or two in this essay that show both the improvement and the tools/values at work will engage the reader and set a tone of interest for your entire application.
2. How will your background, values and non work-related activities enhance the experience of other ESADE MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at ESADE? (Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have accomplished)
ESADE has only 170 students in each class, so each of them must be active to create a lively campus. This essay offers applicants an opportunity to demonstrate how they have helped create community in the past – on campus, in professional and social organizations, in their neighborhood, even in their family life. If an example from a professional environment is the one that best illustrates a personal quality, then, yes, feel free to use it.
3. What are your motivations in pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in your life? Describe your mid-term and long-term visions for your post-MBA career path. What is it about ESADE you think will help you reach your goals?
This is a standard goals question. Applicants need to demonstrate that their goals are ambitious but fully realizable. Anyone whose goals are not seen as reasonable cannot be accepted because they will graduate unhappy at the discovery of that reality – after losing 12-18 months of their lives and €60,000 of their hard-earned (or borrowed!) money.
4. Complete two of the following four questions or statements (1000 characters per response)
a. I am most proud of…
b. People may be surprised to learn that I…
c. What has your biggest challenge been and what did it help you learn about yourself?
d. Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
All of these essay prompts aim to discover any interesting aspects of your background, both professional and personal. These provide applicants a chance to round out the admissions committee’s understanding of who they are, what obstacles they have faced in their lives, and what they’ve accomplished. These are very brief essays of approximately 150 words each.
5. Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include gaps in employment, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT or any other relevant information.
If you need to explain any of the standard issues – your direct manager doesn’t know you’re applying so you couldn’t ask him to write a recommendation, you completed your coursework in December but did not receive your diploma until the following May, etc. – then this is the place to make those clarifications. If you do not need to use this space for any of those mundane topics, then feel free to fill it with an example of your leadership, maturity, or innovation to provide further evidence of your fit with ESADE.
If you would like professional guidance with your ESADE MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the ESADE application.
Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 17 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your Foster application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget.